Women make up 59% of the US labor force and almost 51% of the entire US population. In 2014 there were 1,114,000 jobs in software development and this is expected to grow 17% in the next 10 years.
In 2015, top tech companies reported significant differences in the ratio of male and female employees. For example, Intel reported 76.2% of their staff as male, Microsoft 75.7%, Google 72.2% and Facebook 71.2%.
The the ratio of male and female employees in leadership roles is even more disparate.. Microsoft reported only 12.5% of their leadership as female, Google 16%, Intel 16.8% and Facebook 23.1%.
In 2013, just 26% of computing jobs in the U.S. were held by women, down from 35% in 1990, according to a study released in March 2015 by the American Association of University Women, a nonprofit that promotes gender equality.
For many women, technology careers aren’t even on the radar. For example, Indiana University enrolls about 8,000 freshmen every fall, about 50% of them women. Science and computing isn’t on the radar for 97% of them, according to Maureen Biggers, assistant dean for diversity and education at Indiana’s School of Informatics.
The problem is not just due to sexism and unconscious biases, but a lack of women applying and staying in technology roles. A study of UT students in 2009 found that 26.6% of males surveyed chose a degree in Engineering or Computer Science, whereas just 6.2% females surveyed chose the same degree path.
According to a study by Catalyst, a nonprofit organization focused on expanding opportunities for women, women with MBAs are likely to enter tech-intensive industries, but 53%of those who do leave the technology field, compared with only 31% of men.
Interestingly, researchers have found that code written by women was approved at a higher rate (78.6%) than code written by men (74.6%) on Github.
Programs like ChickTech educate girls on what they can do with a career in tech and sets them up with mentors to help them succeed.
After the inaugural ChickTech: High School in 2013, research showed that ChickTech changed high school participants’ attitudes and feelings around technology and their place in creating it:
In 2015 ChickTech: High School showed tremendous results:
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